Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Fatal stabbing of North Plainfield man becomes Plainfield's 14th death since March

A North Plainfield man died in the city's 14th fatal encounter this year.

Larry Virola, 25, of 115 Cypress Gardens, North Plainfield was fatally stabbed when a fight broke out Monday night (Sept. 5, 2005) in a city parking lot off West Front Street, police said.

Since March, the city has had 12 homicides and one death due to aggravated manslaughter.

In the latest incident, a crowd of about 40 people had gathered by the Green Brook for a party when the fight erupted near 10 p.m. Police arrived to find Virola unresponsive in the back of a car.

The Plainfield Rescue Squad and Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center's Mercy 6 Unit responded. Virola was taken to Muhlenberg, where he was pronounced dead about an hour later.

Police said the party was in Municipal Lot 4, between Madison Avenue and Somerset Street. An ongoing dispute between two people turned into a fight and it was unclear whether Virola was taking part or trying to stop the fight, police said. There were no suspects as of Tuesday evening.

Anyone with information should call Plainfield Detective Fernando Sanchez at (908) 753-3415 or Union County Prosecutor's Office Detective Michael Manochio at (908) 527-4645. Anonymous callers may also leave information at (908) 654-TIPS.

On Tuesday, the parking lot was empty except for children riding bikes, a couple of men having a beer after work and a residents' group from Horizons at Plainfield digging a hole to plant a tree.

Nobody knew anything about the party, which police said took place "near some large potted plants," but all any visitors saw was a group of weedy concrete planters that formerly stood on Front Street.